Are you planning a trip to Bulgaria and want to keep in touch?
If so, then you need to think about how you will access the internet while in Bulgaria.
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WiFi is widely available across the country, but there are a few things travelers should know before traveling.
In this guide, we’ll discuss what you need to know about using WiFi and Internet in Bulgaria Make your trip as stress-free as possible.
We’ll cover topics like the availability of public hotspots, available data plans, and tips for staying safe online.
Armed with this information, you can rest assured that staying connected while traveling won’t be a problem!
So without further ado, let’s see what you need to know about Internet and WiFi in Bulgaria.
WiFi Availability in Bulgaria
When it comes to WiFi availability, Bulgaria has great coverage.
Many places (hotels, restaurants, cafes, and airports) have public hotspots, and data plans can be purchased at local shops.
If you’re looking for a place to surf the web, find a restaurant or coffee shop.
WiFi in Bulgaria is usually free, which makes the whole thing easier! Although, you may need to buy coffee or food to get the code.
Internet reliability in Bulgaria
In terms of internet reliability, Bulgaria is generally good. Still, if you’re going to a rural area, you’ll occasionally have issues with connection speeds.
For example, if you are going to a small town like Bansko, the internet might be slow depending on where you are. The 5G network is unblocked in some areas of Bansko, and only 4G is available in some areas.
If you plan to do any work or streaming while in Bulgaria, it’s best to stay in a larger city like Sofia or Plovdiv. Or, consider working in a coworking space.
Read on to learn more about coworking in Bulgaria.
Bulgaria Data Plans
If you plan to use the internet while in Bulgaria, it is a good idea to purchase a local data plan.
If you can use free WiFi everywhere, you don’t need to buy a data plan. But if you want reliable, high-speed internet access, it’s worth considering.
When purchasing a data plan in Bulgaria, you have the following options:
- Buy a SIM card at a local store or at the airport (if available)
- Buy a SIM card online before you go
- Buy eSIM for Bulgaria
- Hire Pocket WiFi for Bulgaria
Now, if you decide to buy a SIM card in a local store, you need to know that most people in Bulgaria do not speak English. Therefore, obtaining a SIM card can become challenging.
I recommend that you ask to speak to someone who speaks English to facilitate the process. For example, in Bansko most shops have only one English speaker. We usually go to Yettel because their English speaking staff is friendly.
Bulgaria SIM card
Bulsgaria’s leading SIM card providers are:
You can buy a Bulgarian SIM card at the airport (if available) or in local shops in major cities. This can be challenging if you don’t speak Bulgarian.
Therefore, you may want to consider buying an eSIM card or SIM card plan online.
If you want to buy a SIM card online, here are some options to consider:
- Simify (available in several countries, including Bulgaria)
If you are already in Europe, you can check if your European SIM plan covers Bulgaria. Some of them do, so it’s worth a try!
Read our Bulgaria SIM card buying guide to find out more.
If you’re looking for an easy way to stay connected in Bulgaria without buying a physical SIM card, look no further than an eSIM.
Right now, this option only works if your phone supports eSIM technology. Read our guide to the best eSIM phones to find out more.
Here are a few options to consider when buying an eSIM for Bulgaria:
It’s important to note, though, that Holafly doesn’t allow you to create hotspots with your plan. This can be a problem if you plan on using a hotspot for your laptop or sharing WiFi with traveling companions.
If you plan to visit other destinations in Europe, you can get a European eSIM.
Pocket Wifi Bulgaria
Finally, another option to consider is renting a pocket wifi for your travels.
Today, this option is no longer popular as most travelers prefer to use a SIM card or eSIM to stay connected.
However, it can be handy if you’re traveling with a group.
Some companies still offer this service, so it’s worth considering.
A1 offers a portable router that can be used with a SIM card. You can get plans with a lot of data for a reasonable price. I know this option works well in Bansko.
Coworking spaces in Bulgaria
If you need a good internet connection while traveling in Bulgaria, there is no better place than a coworking space.
Coworking spaces are popular in Bulgaria, and for good reason.
Many coworking spaces offer great WiFi, comfortable seating, and a variety of other amenities that make them ideal places to get work done.
As a traveler, you may not need a coworking space, but if you’re a remote worker or a digital nomad, you know that having a good workspace is key to being productive.
If you are in Bulgaria and wish to work remotely, a coworking space is a great solution for accessing fast and reliable internet.
You will find coworking spaces in all the popular destinations for digital nomads such as Bansko, Plovdiv, Sofia and more.
Tips for Staying Safe Online
Finally, here are some tips to keep in mind when surfing the Internet in Bulgaria.
Using a VPN is the best way to stay safe when using public WiFi in Bulgaria. It will keep your data encrypted and help you bypass any local restrictions. This is especially important if you use public hotspots for sensitive documents or transactions.
I personally use NordVPN, but there are many good options out there. You can read our NordVPN review to learn more.
Now, it’s important to note that most people don’t use a VPN, but many remote workers and digital nomads do, on a daily basis.
Use public hotspots with caution
Public hotspots can be used to monitor data and track users. Make sure you only connect to secure networks and use caution when entering credentials or sensitive information.
How to connect securely to the Internet
Make sure to always check the network name before connecting. If it doesn’t look legitimate, don’t connect to it.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you can often use public WiFi without any issues, but it’s much safer and more convenient to have your own hotspot with an eSIM or SIM card. And the internet speed is usually better.
By following these tips, you can know that your connection in Bulgaria is safe and fast.
- Do not forget to download the offline map of Bulgaria before your arrival. This is useful when you arrive without access to WiFi or data.
- Check the currency exchange rate before you leave. This will help you budget accurately and avoid any surprises regarding payments. If I know I won’t have internet access when I arrive, I usually intercept the current exchange rate so I know what to expect when I withdraw money or buy something. I always use my Revolut travel card to withdraw money abroad.
- Find out how you plan to get from the airport to your accommodation. Do your research before you arrive in case you don’t have access to the internet. This way, you prevent the risk of getting lost. Alternatively, book an airport transfer in advance.
- Install a translation app to facilitate your travels in Bulgaria, as English is not widely spoken in most cities. You even get an offline option using Google Translate.
- Finally, don’t forget to bring a universal plug adapter so you can easily charge your devices in Bulgaria.
Final Thoughts on Using the Internet in Bulgaria
Bulgaria generally offers good internet, whether you want to use public WiFi or buy your own data plan.
Just remember to take the necessary precautions to stay safe online and you’re good to go.
If having a good internet connection is critical to you, make sure to stick to major cities with faster connections.
If you need reliable access, look no further than a data plan.
Heading to Bulgaria soon? Read one of the following guides: